Coming Fall 2014 you will start to see many more bikes traveling these city streets. The city has committed millions of dollars in capital funds to this Bike Share project that may have you rethink how you get around. Their goal is to implement the Bike Share in zones of Center City and surrounding neighborhoods. When the project is at completion they hope to see between 150-200 Bike Share stations docking nearing 1,500 bikes.
(Photo Source: http://www.phila.gov/bikeshare)
Bike Share will be prominent in neighborhoods such as Bella Vista, Queen Village, Passyunk Square, South Philadelphia, West Philadelphia, Temple University all the way to the Navy Yard. At the most recent Bella Vista Neighbors Association meeting, this was discussed in great detail by the Mayors Office of Transportation and Utilities as Bella Vista would have a Bike Share station implemented.
The Bike Share program wouldn’t be for your everyday bike rider. This program would be targeted at students, tourists, anyone who does not own a bike. This would become one more option of transportation similar to jumping on the bus or walking. Yearly and monthly memberships will be offered. They price comparable to other major cities with Bike Share options. A single ride could be bought for under $10.
These bikes will be large, heavy and uniquely designed for Bike Share. They will be three-speed and made with hard to replace parts hoping to deter theft. Philadelphia will become the 37th city to offer a Bike Share program. As a non-bike rider living in Center City Philadelphia (for reasons of erratic Philly drivers) I am still excited to see this change come to the city as it promotes outdoor, physical activity. Although, I would consider making one change and make the helmet policy mandatory.
Years ago you would be able to find curbside stands along portions of 2nd, 4th, 7th and 9th Streets. Today, the little section on South 9th Street is what we have coined the ‘Italian Market‘. Even so, only half of the 160 stands are currently occupied. Restrictions on what and who can sell have remained in tact for years by the city of Philadelphia.
Finally a shed of light! Last month, a new legislation passed by City Council would transfer the management and rental duties from the city over to the South 9th Street Business Association. The overall look of 9th street wouldn’t change much, but who could rent and what could be sold will bring more diversity, youth and money. The wheeled curbside carts will remain a requirement to these street vendors.
(Photo Source: philly.com)
Vendors who currently own carts will be able to keep them while restrictions on the limit you may own has been lifted. The annual rent per stand will remain the same at $300 per year. Applications will be reviewed by a volunteer committee and determined on variety and quality. They will be viewed on a first come- first serve basis.
This change hopes to vitalize South Philadelphia and the Italian Market and how our community can thrive with local goods. If the Italian Market starts booming with craft and art vendors, you’ll find me there on the weekends. I mean what’s better than handmade art and fresh pasta?!
If you are looking for something to do this weekend and you love to support local artists and businesses then consider purchasing a ticket to the Alfonso Cavaliere Memorial Fund Concert. Put on by the Board of Directors of East Passyunk Crossing, this will make the 21st year of production. So join your neighbors in South Philadelphia on Sunday October 20th at 4pm at SS. John Neumann-Maria Goretti High School.
(Image Source: belcantophila.org)
Tickets are available now and are just $15 for an adult/ $12 for a Senior Citizen. Your soul will enjoy the sounds of Light Opera, Broadway, Patriotic and Neapolitan songs. This years concert will feature the Bel Canto Lyric Opera Company and Orchestra. All proceeds help benefit musical scholarships for local artists. East Passyunk Crossing receives a small portion of each ticket sold. So join in to help support two worthy causes as you enjoy music from local performers.
The Physick House located at 321 S. 4th Street in Society Hill is a historical mansion from the late 18th century was home to Philip Syng Physick. He was a Philadelphia born American physician. In 1793 as the Yellow Fever epidemic swept through Philadelphia, Dr. Physick stuck around to treat victims. He has been called “the father of American surgery”. In the late 1960’s the house was restored and donated to the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks. Today this mansion remains a National Historic Landmark and serves as a museum to locals and tourists. The house even has a garden that replicates one from the 19th century.
(Image Source: wikipedia.org)
This month the Physick House is opening its doors and inviting the public in for fun and games. Starting on Thursday October 10th, you can join your neighbors for wine and beer tasting from 5:30-8pm. Music, food and raffle opportunities will be available. Tickets are $30 and proceeds help support the ‘Restore the Roof’ campaign. Another benefit is 50% of admission is tax deductible.
(Image Source: philalandmarks.org)
On Thursday October 23rd through Saturday the 26th , get your Halloween on with the Physick House. Join in for ‘History, Mystery and Murder Drama’. Starting at 8pm, a walking performance will take you through the house of history. Tickets are $30. Whether your ears perk up with beer or maybe mystery’s are more your kind, the Physick House is sure to show you a good time!
(Image Source: philalandmarks.org)
Recently, Washington Square West has received some TLC from the community and Trust organization. Washington Square West Trust is an educational and charitable organization that helps to support programs and activities in the community. Their goal is to enhance life in the neighborhood and make this area attractive for local residents as well as new city dwellers. Neighbors and community activists have worked with the WSWT organization to launch their latest project – a video history of what the neighborhood is and what is has to offer. Prominent individuals voice their opinion on how the neighborhood has changed, what it has to offer and the comfort and convenience of living in Washington Square West. This video attracts locals as well as visitors and allows the community to see neighborhood changes take place to better their living experience. I think other neighborhoods should take note of this project. What a sincere and informative way to educate new city dwellers or even locals looking to relocate to a different neighborhood. Check it out!
(Video Source: washwesttrust.org)
Washington Square West has been busy! Aside from their ‘video history’ launch, the Washington Square West Civic Association has started a project with PHS to restore and maintain tree canopy’s. You can join in by becoming Tree Tender Certified at the Philadelphia Horticultural Society. A hands on training session will leave you with the knowledge and benefit to help plant and care for dozens of trees in Washington Square West. You must attend all three classes in October (2nd, 9th and 16th) to become certified. Meet at 5:45pm and plan to stay about 3 hours. Once certified, you can join your fellow Tree Tenders on November 23rd to plant more than 2 dozen trees. The planting and caring will continue through Spring 2014. Scholarship opportunities are also available through Washington Square West Trust and PHS. The Virginia Trosino Tree Tender Scholarship is awarded to an individual who is certified, applies, a resident of WSW and expresses interest and knowledge to benefit the neighborhood. Scholarship winners have already been determined for this year, but don’t let that discourage you! Plan your tree tending classes now for 2014!
(Image Source: washwestcivic.org)
One you may want to keep your eye on if you are in the buying market. Originally refused by the zoning committee for not providing the required open area space in the front and rear, this issue was revised and re-presented on Tuesday August 13th. This proposal is for a single family home at 735 S. Darien Street, approximately 30 feet high, with bay windows and a roof deck offering 2nd and 3rd floor access. Volpe, the builder of this project, has also constructed close to a dozen other homes in Bella Vista. This project is estimated to take 2-3 months to complete. This new dwelling was supported by the surrounding neighbors and will be presented to the ZBA next month.
This empty lot is currently the space of 735 S. Darien Street. (Image Source: google.com)
The kickoff begins on Monday August 5th at Sacks Recreation Center at 400 Washington Avenue. From 5-8pm help celebrate the kick off rally to support National Night Out. This is America’s night out against crime and drugs. With food, entertainment and games, bring the whole family in support of your neighborhood of Dickinson Square West.
(photo source: http://www.dickinsonsquarewest.org/)
On Tuesday, August 6th, you can attend the second night of festivities in support of this cause at Kahn Park in Washington Square West from 6-9pm. Live music will be preformed featuring some jazz tunes from a UARTS band, raffles, food and family activities. Bring your chair or pack a blanket and stay awhile! For more information or general questions email Safety@washwestcivic.org.
If you’re more of the active type, you can also participate in the National Night Out Walk in Bella Vista on Tuesday August 6th from 6-8pm. Meet at John’s Water Ice on Christian Street and let your footsteps be heard. The National Association of Town Watch introduced ‘National Night Out’ in 1984 in hopes to spread the awareness of crime prevention throughout our communities, businesses and neighborhoods. Today, this event has more than 37 million participants in over 15,000 communities nation wide.
This is an opportunity for families, businesses and local police departments to join together and meet your fellow neighbors. It allows for our neighborhoods to become a fighting unit in crime prevention.
How it will look like. Courtesy the Philadelphia Real Estate Blog.
The Philadelphia Real Estate Blog got us a first look last week at the new split-levels replacing the Pain Center at 12th and Lombard, a rather dated 1970s-era structure.
How it looks today. Courtesy Philaphilia.
Designed by ubiquitous local architects Harman Deutsch, these structures will come with a 2-car rear garage with decks on top, as well as the firm’s idiosyncratic design. We’ll have more details as and we learn about them!
Triangle Park in better days. Courtesy Naked Philly.
Bella Vista’s Triangle Park, at the intersection of 6th and Christian Streets and Passyunk Avenue, is a small, beautiful plot of green in a neighborhood boasting several small, beautiful plots of green. It, however, also sits satisfyingly right in the middle of the neighborhood, surrounded by beautiful houses, cafés, and other small business.
Oh, and it’s privately owned.
That’s why the owner fenced it in earlier this summer, in an “attempt to signal its availability”, despite its half-decade of cheerful local use, much to the displeasure of the neighborhood–a neighborhood which has been working to acquire the parcel so it can stay a park ever and anon…
The overgrown site. Courtesy Naked Philly
But wait, there’s more! According to this Naked Philly piece, the parcel was a gas station before the community covered it with greenery. And gas station sites tend to have nasty underground surprises, particularly for verdanture atop. Environmental sampling and (likely) remediation has to be done before the property can be conveyed, which has to happen before the fencing can come down–remediation which would also destroy the landscaping already in place.
A brouhaha on Washington Square? Yes indeed–for the better part of a decade now, a major condo proposal has lingered on its east side, behind 1950s-mayor Richardson Dilworth’s former residence, bisecting the two halves of the Athenaeum. This Turchi offering, including an expansion of that storied institution into Dilworth’s house financed by a 15-story Robert Venturi-designed condo structure behind, has caught the attention (and wrath) of preservation advocates, and a long train of Plan Philly stories.
The proposal. Courtesy Plan Philly.
So, as the developer and the community fight one another, the site sits, a minor black hole on the square’s duller east side.
Stay tuned–we will have more information as and when
court rulings happen it becomes available!